We need to treat everyone with respect

To the editor:

In your Tuesday editorial about the shooting in Tucson, you argue that the criticism of over-blown political rhetoric was ill-conceived. As the editorial points out, it’s clear that this was an act of a sick person. But this doesn’t mean that as a culture we shouldn’t reassess how we treat each other as citizens.

David Baker’s letter to the editor that same day, “Reprehensible rhetoric,” states that connecting the Tucson tragedy to recent rhetoric is “obscene” and tantamount to silencing “political dissent while advancing tyranny.” This is clearly over-stated. It’s the type of language that immediately squashes open debate. It creates notions of evil and good that are out of place and useless in public discourse.

Of course, poisonous rhetoric has always existed in our society, but this isn’t a reason for it to continue. As a liberal, I’m not blaming the right for this event, but this doesn’t mean that it isn’t a reminder to everyone to think before they speak and treat one another with respect even when they passionately disagree.

Paul Sacksteder


Crazy people

To the editor:

The one constant in the many assassinations, killing sprees or attempts of mass murder throughout the world’s history is that the people behind them were crazy. And these events happened before 31-bullet ammo clips were available, before guns were invented, before talk radio and before 24-hour news channels.

Bottom line: Try as you may or blame who you want, but in the final analysis you cannot make sense out of nonsense.

The voices of Rush, Beck, Olbermann, Mahr, Maddow, Ozzy Osbourne, their dog or whoever John Wilkes Booth listened to are drowned out by the voices in their own heads.

Crazy people are crazy, and they cannot help themselves. The people who exploit the crazy things they have done can help themselves and deserve our shame. They are trying to profit from murder or promote their beliefs and are despicable.

kirk vanek


Even scarier

To the editor:

As our nation mourns the senseless loss of innocent lives in the Tucson murders, I have to wonder “what if.” Arizona is one of the least restrictive states regarding concealed weapons carried by law-abiding citizens. The tragic results of that day might have been different if a single armed citizen, ready and able to defend innocent lives, had intervened.

I also question whether we are doing enough to help the mentally ill. There are too many mentally ill people who are not receiving adequate treatment, and this tragedy underscores our failure as a society to address this problem.

But what saddens me the most are recent discussions by our representatives, sworn to defend the Constitution, calling for restricted personal liberties — in freedom of speech, regulation of the airwaves and the right to self-defense. Perhaps these representatives do not understand the Constitution. More likely, they do not agree with it. That is even scarier than a crazed gunman slaughtering innocent citizens.


Las Vegas

Making excuses

To the editor:

Whenever the subject of unemployment in Las Vegas is brought up, the word “diversity” is quickly used as if it were some kind of new discovery. The so-called experts also quickly posit that the reason we cannot attract more diversified companies here is that we lack enough people with education beyond the high school level.

This is a very convenient excuse for companies to use rather than admit that some other city or state has offered them a better deal. It is also a convenient excuse for our big thinkers to use because this absolves them of any blame for our sad situation.

Lastly, it gives ammunition to the people who think we have to throw more money at our educational system. Facts do not support this mind-set.

Fact: Anytime a company advertises or posts a professional job opening, it is swamped with qualified applicants the first day.

Fact: California has unemployment problems, too. There are thousands of Californians with higher degrees who would move here if good jobs were to be found.

Fact: UNLV is not Harvard, but it produces well-educated students who are willing to work.

It has been stated that our unemployment rate among college graduates sits at 5 percent. This may or may not be true, but I am willing to wager that a large number of the other 95 percent of these people are working at jobs for which they are overqualified.

We are not suffering from lack of supply here. We are suffering from lack of demand. The people who are charged with selling our city and state need to stop making excuses and redouble their efforts to attract business here.

Hugo Riefstahl

Las Vegas

Boulder City problems

To the editor:

In response to the Sunday commentary on Boulder City traffic by A.M. Knightly, editor of the Boulder City Review:

Mr. Knightly wants the feds, the state, the county or anybody to take care of his city’s traffic problems.

But the traffic problems of Boulder City should be no surprise. Instead of worrying about traffic, Boulder City officials annexed almost all the land between Railroad Pass and the south end of Eldorado dry lake years ago. That was done to extend their “no growth” zone in what was America’s fastest-growing county.

Boulder City could raise money to pay for traffic improvements by selling some land around that money-loser golf course they built. But I predict that the elite crybabies of Boulder City have enough juice to force us to pay for the problem they should have solved during the past decade.

When the new bypass road is opened, the new city limit sign should read “Boulder City: Enter by invitation only.”

Rick Smith

Las Vegas

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